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Found 9 results

  1. Neal, I listened to "When the World's on Fire," and it's absolutely amazing - Woody didn't do much at all with this one, did he. That said, I still don't know if he was proud or ashamed to be an American - I can see it both ways, which is probably the point. Although I didn't quite understand all the words (I'm sure I could find them on the internet), there's a certain innocence to The Carter Family's song that I find sweet and charming. Trivia: June Carter is a distant cousin of President Jimmy Carter (!)
  2. Sam Cooke sang like an angel come down to earth. His cruelly curtailed career (shot dead in 1964 aged 33) spanned gospel, blues, rock-n-roll, and, towards the end, a kind of jazz-inflected pop that might be at home in Vegas nightclubs. Here are a couple of more-or-less rock-n-roll numbers. "You Send Me" and "Wonderful World" are better known, but I like these more: "Bring it on Home to Me" (1962) "You're Always on my Mind" (1961) Gospel recordings with the Soul Stirrers (1926-), before Sam Cooke was a pop sensation: "Jesus I'll Never Forget" (Recorded in 1954) "I'm Gonna Build Right on that Shore" (Recorded in 1951) Night-Clubby "Fool's Paradise" (Written in 1955, covered on the 1963 Album "Night Beat"): "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" (Written in 1940, covered on the 1961 album, "My Kind of Blues"): As I say, one for the ages.
  3. I was having a private conversation with somebody on this site, and we were agreeing that more than anyone else, the founding father of rock and roll was Chuck Berry. But Chuck Berry wasn't an exceptional singer, or an exceptional guitarist, although he certainly wasn't bad as either. But I would like to put forward the claim that the founder of rock-and-roll singing was Little Richard. When you listen to his mid-fifties iconic vocal performances, you hear prefigured just about everything to come: Elvis, John and Paul, Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix, John Fogerty, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Jackie Wilson, even Bob Dylan. Prince. But also the R & B and soul artists like James Brown, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and even Aretha Franklin. You can hear all of them learning what to do when you listen to, and watch, Little Richard murder "Long Tall Sally" (1956): Comment on this extraordinary exhibition is probably superfluous, although I will point out that it seems remarkably like a minstrel show, except the performers are black rather than in black-face. I'm not entirely sure what to make of that. But my goodness, the joy shines through Little Richard's vocal technique and the expressions on his face and his physical moves. This was a singer who knew what he wanted to do and damn, he did it. It's also remarkable how beautiful he was to look at.
  4. Does anyone remember this commercial: for Boxcar Willie's album? IMHO he's one of the most amazing musicians since Slim Whitman. Weird fact: There's a Boxcar Willie Park near L'Enfant Plaza. Huh?
  5. Quite possibly the coolest person of the Twentieth Century. Jonah, 1946 That's All,1960 (?) Didn't It Rain, 1964 I came to Sister Rosetta by way of gospel music, and found myself in the middle of rock 'n' roll.
  6. I posted a link to Etta James singing "The Very Thought of You" from her beautiful "Mystery Lady" album over in the Carmen McRae thread. Here's another great track from the same album, "How Deep Is The Ocean." I totally love this album and can't say enough nice things about it: Here, on the other hand, is Etta James doing the kind of thing she was better known for, tearing up Otis Redding's "I Got The Will." I hate to use the word "apotheosis" again so soon, but if this ain't apotheosis, I don't know what is:
  7. I never had the pleasure to hear Albertina Walker in person, but listening to her recordings I came to feel that I knew her. She was one for the ages. She died in 2010, and was mourned across the gospel and r and b world. Aretha Franklin was one of many artists who sang at Albertina's funeral. I am not a Christian, and I don't believe in God, but I can really appreciate the kind of religious ecstasy that can be found in Albertina Walker's singing, as here:
  8. As I mentioned in the Lee Wiley thread, Dinah Washington's recording of "Manhattan" (1960) includes an update to the Larry Hart original lyric from "Abie's Irish Rose" to "My Fair Lady" ("and for some high fare/we'll go to 'My Fair/ Lady', say"). In spite of the rather sappy orchestration and the extreme vibrato employed by the singer, I must admit that I adore this version of the song.
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